A Harry Potter Fall

Hannah Adams, Assistant Opinion Editor

The Harry Potter movies are a staple tradition for many during the fall and winter seasons. Although there are not technically Christmas films, it is generally around this time of year that people gather with friends and family to binge the series. Something about the cozy Hogwarts scenes and the dark and dreary cinematography make it comforting during the cold seasons of the year. I have read the series each year since I was a child. Last year, I also went with some family friends to Universal Studios Harry Potter World in Orlando, Fl. during November. Many childhood dreams were achieved that weekend. 

It is a bit strange that these movies have such a large impact on people in the chillier seasons. Given that the overall plot is about an orphan boy that is fighting for his life majority of the time, it seems unusual that these films are such a comfort to so many. In the Cinema Blend article, “Why Fall is the Best Time to Binge Harry Potter ” Mick Joest breaks down why these movies have such an impact on people specifically in the months leading up to Christmas. 

Fall is towards the end of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and while I know Christmas isn’t a part of all that, we certainly start hearing about the holiday a lot during the fall season,” Joest said. “Like Halloween, a lot of Christmas lore is reliant on magic and perhaps the most magical person of them all, Santa Claus. This may be why there are some fans who consider the Harry Potter movies more of a winter watch, by the way, but that’s just my theory.” 

There are other various elements of the movies that are fitting for the months of October through December. The copious amounts of food during the feasts seems fitting for Thanksgiving season and the general spooky aspects of the films, especially that of Prisoner of Azkaban, are perfect for Halloween. In most of the movies it is often portrayed to be cold outside with snow covering the rooftops of the shops in Hogsmeade. There is also something so warm and inviting about the Gryffindor common room with its warm fires and big comfy chairs. The Collider article, “My Comfort Movie: Why ‘Harry Potter’ Comforts Even When Adults Disappoint”, written by Adam Chitwood explains how he feels the series is a comfort to people of any demographic.  

In the end, who saves Hogwarts? The kids,” Chitwood said. “Yes a number of good-hearted teachers come to their aid, but it’s the kids who plot, plan, strategize, and mobilize. They realize, as they enter young adulthood, that they can no longer wait around for others to do the right thing. They’re gonna have to do it themselves, even if it means self-sacrifice. And that’s damn inspiring.”

This outlook was remarkable because it opened a new thought process for me considering why I hold these movies so close. I think it’s because they truly do inspire young people to be bold and brave and to stand up for what they believe in. That at the end of the day it was the adults that were failing and the kids that were saving the world. Even as an adult, I go back every year to watch my childhood heroes defeat Lord Voldemort and epically save their world. In some ways, it is like a well needed reset each winter to prepare me for the upcoming new year. 

As a young woman it was always Hermione Granger that inspired me the most. Her intelligence and confidence were so incredible to me, and I grew up studying hard wanting to be like her. My love for the character helped me to grow as a person and to feel female empowerment for the first time. The official Wizard World website released an article titled, “The Importance of Hermione Granger,” which explores the beloved character and the lessons that she taught us. “Lessons that say that it’s important to be outspoken and stubborn – it can win you even the most difficult situations,” The article said. “Her work ethic, her sheer willingness to do what she believed was right, is inspiring. In short, Hermione Granger was the real hero of the outfit.” 

Another huge part of the movies that people identify with is the school houses and the traits that go with them. It’s fun and inclusive, providing a wide range of traits that viewers can identify with. 

Whether it be the bravery of Gryffindor, the intelligence of Ravenclaw, the empathy of Hufflepuff or the ambition of Slytherin, viewers have a house that they feel fits them best. Fans are also able to take a test on the Wizarding World website that helps them find what house suits them best. My results ended up being Ravenclaw and I cannot say that I’m surprised or disappointed. 

Here on campus, it is interesting to see some of the different houses fellow students feel they identify with. A poll conducted to 90 students via Instagram found that Slytherin is the most common, coming in at 40%. Next is Hufflepuff with 30% and both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw finishing at 15%. Looks like GC should keep an eye out for the dark mark with all these Slytherins around. Kidding!